Based in Bishop Auckland Market Place, it will host conferences and workshops for international delegates and undertake world-class research.
It will also offer postgraduate students the opportunity to study major artworks and rare objects and work alongside curatorial staff at Auckland Castle Trust’s separate Spanish Gallery, ensuring the next generation of curators and museum professionals enjoy hands-on experience with an evolving collection.
The Centre is being supported with a £600,000 grant from Santander – the largest single donation made by the bank to a UK university – with Durham University committing an additional £1m over the next five years.
In partnership with the nearby Spanish Gallery, it will offer a direct link between new research and new exhibition programming, helping to expand and enhance both the public profile and understanding of Spanish and Latin American art, in the UK and around the world.
Refurbishment of Roper House is currently being undertaken on behalf of Auckland Castle Trust by Bishop Auckland- based T Manners & Sons ahead of the building being handed over to Durham University.
Picture caption: Professor Stuart Corbridge, Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, signs the partnership agreement with Jonathan Ruffer, Chairman, Auckland Castle Trust at Auckland Castle. Picture by Sean Elliott.